James “Pete” Hunter, 87, of South Sioux City and formerly of Sioux City, passed away on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at his residence surrounded by family. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00am on Monday, September 25, 2023 at Glad Tidings Lighthouse with Pastor Michael Ring officiating. Mohr & Becker Hunt Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
Pete was born on February 15, 1936 in Winnebago, Nebraska, to George and Nellie (Rich) Hunter. He grew up in South Sioux City and graduated from South Sioux City High School in 1954.
He married Ellen Jean Thomas on November 14, 1953. To this union, three daughters were born. James and Ellen made their home in Sioux City. Ellen passed away in December of 1990. In 1996, Pete married Helen Johnson. Helen passed away in 2008. Pete eventually returned to South Sioux City until his passing.
Pete wore many hats throughout his professional life. He learned to shear sheep from his father-in-law, Frank Thomas, Jr. Pete competed in the sheep shearing contests at the Iowa State Fair each year, which his family enjoyed accompanying to watch him compete. In 1966, he won the international sheep shearing competition at the Indianapolis State Fair.
He went on to work for Palmer Candy Company for several years as a route salesman, winning many awards for top salesman. He worked at Pest Busters Inc. from 2002 to 2012. He “retired” from Palmer Candy, however found himself continuing to work for another 20 years as a bus driver for the Sioux City Community School District. He continued to work until he was 84 years old.
Pete was a proud founder and leader of the Sioux City chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen Association.
He enjoyed playing guitar and was an involved member of his church music group.
Survivors include his three daughters: Beverly Thoreson of Largo, FL, Virginia “Ginny” Sheats (Charlie) Eagle Grove, IA, and Penni Loy (Bill) of South Sioux City; grandchildren: Debra Chesley (Jeremy), Rob Thoreson (Anna), Anne Fox (Tom Henry); great-grandchildren: Eli Thoreson, Sarah Thoreson, Gage Thoreson, and Emma “Sammie” Dake, and Nathaniel Chesley; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ellen; his wife, Helen; his parents; two grandchildren: Matthew Thoreson and Amy Thoreson; siblings: Ruth Collins, Vi Hunter, Daniel Hunter, and an infant sister, Margie Mae.